Business That's Your Business

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John Grayken says his Lone Star Funds is innocent of wrongdoing in South Korea. Which didn't stop him from killing the deal that got him in trouble in the first place.

Here, before we leave for the weekend, are a couple of business news quickies involving some familiar names (including Trammell Crow, after the jump). Surely we can some up with something sexier than this? No, not so much. Actually, at the end, The Best Chef in the World tells where he eats in Dallas when he's not eating at his restaurant. So there's that to look forward to.

Not terribly interested in rehashing the controversy involving Lone Star Funds and its selling off a bank in South Korea; we've got plenty of backstory right here, including the story from November 13 involving two Lone Star Funds execs who refused to show when SK prosecutors demanded they appear for questioning. Well, on Monday Lone Star Funds got itself indicted on charges of stock manipulation--kind of the last thing you want when you're trying to pocket $4 billion off the sale of Korea Exchange Bank. (How a company gets indicted, well, we're very unfamiliar with South Korean law.)

Well, today comes word that Lone Star's killing the deal altogether.


Says John Grayken, chairman of the company, in a press release: "We have concluded that we cannot move forward with the sale of KEB to Kookmin Bank due to the continuing investigations surrounding Lone Star's investment in KEB and KEB's subsequent rescue of its credit card subsidiary, which have been extended several times and now have no firm completion date. Once the investigation is finally completed, we will again consider our strategic options. Until then, we will continue to vigorously defend our company and our officers against the Prosecutors' groundless accusations."


In other business news of local interest: Trammell Crow Co. is saying that today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission essentially gave the company the OK to complete its sale to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. Trammell Crow now says it expects the deal to be completed on or about December 20, according to Reuters.


And Stephan Pyles is featured, go figure, in today's Birmingham News, where he dishes (oh, yeah) on his favorite food Web site and favorite Dallas restaurants ("Local and Ferre. For burgers, it's Snuffers; for Tex-Mex, it's Mia's"). Also, a big fan of marjoram. --Robert Wilonsky


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